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Abortion Under ApartheidNationalism, Sexuality, and Women's Reproductive Rights in South Africa$
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Susanne M. Klausen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844494

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844494.001.0001

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(p.214) Conclusion
Abortion Under Apartheid

Susanne M. Klausen

Oxford University Press

The conclusion explains how progressive abortion law reform took place in South Africa after the downfall of apartheid. When the demise of apartheid appeared inevitable, feminists in the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League and civil society worked strategically to win recognition for women’s reproductive rights. They ultimately succeeded in having the newly elected ANC government pass one of the world’s most progressive abortion laws, the 1996 Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, which allows for abortion on demand without restriction as to reason but with gestational limits. The new law had an immediate positive effect: the annual number of abortion-related deaths soon fell dramatically. Yet today unsafe abortion continues to be a serious problem in South Africa, and the conclusion ends by examining the systemic reasons for this and the ongoing need for women’s liberation and reproductive justice.

Keywords:   Demise of apartheid, African National Congress (ANC), ANC Women’s League, Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, Unsafe abortion, Women’s liberation, Reproductive justice

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